Closing an internet lead is different from closing a lead by direct mail or strictly over the phone. This is because during an internet sale, you are competing for the lead’s attention. According to one study, most desktop internet users will have a median number of five tabs open at any given time. In addition, most internet users on both mobile and desktop browse multiple windows at a time, and switch between apps and email regularly.
Because of this, hard sell tactics don’t work. If a lead feels pressured in any way to make a purchase, that lead will just close the tab and go back to regular browsing. Instead, your reps need to make the soft sell. Soft sells have four components.
1. Respond rapidly
Even if your reps are just getting in touch with more information, it is crucial that they respond as fast as possible. A study by Forbes found that it takes most companies an average of 46 hours to contact potential leads. If you can get your time down to less than 24 hours, then you will have a full day to close the sale without any competition.
2. Listen and understand
Your sales representative’s job is to get leads exactly what they want, as fast as they want it. To do this, they first need to read and/or listen to what they want. Your reps should be treating every single customer as an individual with individual needs, instead of just grouping them by the category of products they’re interested in. Your sales reps should be encouraged to ask questions about the customer’s needs rather than guessing.
3. Present solution
Once your sales reps understand the customer’s needs, they should be empowered to present a customized solution. This solution should include everything your customer needs: delivery specifics, completion date, contract, etc. If your sales reps listened to and understood the customer’s specific problems, then they should only have to present one solution.
Follow-up with any additional customer concerns, or requests to change the presented solution, as fast as possible. The customer is likely looking at solutions from your competitors’ and may go with the company that responds to his/her emails in the shortest amount of time.
If your reps need to call customers, they should devote time to figuring out the best possible time to call. Does your customer’s job involve taking phone calls from vendors? If so, call in the afternoon when meetings are less likely to be happening. Keep track of when your customer is busy. Try to get a direct extension to speed up the process of getting back to your customer. Every minute counts!
If your reps call your customer at home, then they should look up the customer’s time zone. Reps should check to avoid calling them during mealtimes or late in the evening.
The two main principles are personalization and speed. Get in touch, listen well, come up with a personalized solution, follow-up through appropriate communication, and do it all faster than the competition.